Blessed Mary Theresa was born Caroline Gerhardinger in Bavaria in 1797. Encouraged by her parish priest to become a teacher, she believed strongly that a child's need for love, safety and food were as important as formal education. "Let us never forget the love of Jesus for children, whom he took upon his lap and blessed," she said.
Caroline gradually recognized God's call to found a religious community which would remedy the social situation through education. Her life work, helping women and children grow to their greatest potential, was a founding principle of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. She brought the order and the mission of educating girls to America, following the wave of German immigration. Within a year, they established a presence in seven cities.
Mother Theresa died in 1879. At that time, her congregation numbered more than 2500. They met the needs of their time by educating girls in elementary schools, orphanages, industrial schools and day nurseries and pioneered in the development of the Kindergarten. For girls working in factories, they provided homes and night schools where they could receive a basic education.
While most religious orders of her time were governed by men, she was convinced that a woman could better understand, direct and motivate her sisters. The Constitution of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, approved by Pope Pius IX in 1865, allowed Mother Theresa and her successors, rather than local bishops, to govern the congregation.
Mary Theresa of Jesus was beatified in 1985, and is now known as Blessed Theresa.
Biogrpahy Provided By: The Women of Notre Dam
The holy men and women are also called the “Protomartyrs of Rome.” They were accused of burning Rome by Nero , who burned Rome to cover his own crimes. Some martyrs were burned as living torches at ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
"Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique statement in John's gospel tells us of the special relationship Jesus had with Martha, her sister, and her brother. Apparently Jesus was a frequent guest at Martha's home in Bethany, a small village ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
Carmelite Latinpatriarch and papal legate. Peter was born in Gascony, France and joined the Carmelites while still a young man. In 1342 he was appointed procurator of the order and, from Avignon, he ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes